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Iron Man 2 Review

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Is Iron Man 2 better than Iron Man? That is really the best review you can give for this film. Does it at least live up to the 2008 blockbuster?
Its a tough question to call. Upon initial watching I had thoroughly enjoyed what I had seen but when I was walking down the steps of the screen and was asked "So, what did you think?", my first thought was "Good, but the first one was better." But I had no idea why I thought that.

However, yesterday, I found myself with a shift at work where I was designated ensuring no illegal copies of Iron Man were recorded, and so sat through the film from start to finish around 4/5 times, however often out of sequence. And as I sit here now, typing about the film, I find myself seeing exactly why.
I can't think of a better fight sequence in the first film than the Monaco showdown, where Mickey Rourke's Ivan Vanko breaks onto the track and unleashes havoc on both racing cars and our hero. Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr. on fine form once again) has never been so under threat, shear terror in his eyes, his public image shattered as Vanko lashes the ground from beneath him with huge electrical wiring. Its gripping stuff, and easily the most exciting bit of the movie.
Then it hit me. This was the most dangerous, gripping, exciting part in a two hour movie. And it happens within the first 40 minutes. From here on in the threat never feels real, Tony's image is never really under threat.
Sure, he has his problems. Drinking and Blood Toxicity being ones high up the list. But those never felt serious, nothing more than a mere obstacle for our hero to jump rather than leap over.
And this is Iron Man 2's main problem. It doesn't get bigger. It tails away, not knowing how to better its own action sequences, not knowing how to put our hero in real harms way again. I assure you now, Iron Man 2 is just as funny, just as entertaining as its predecessor, but its not as threatening. We have no Tony fighting for survival like he was in Afghanistan, we have no despair as his friend turns against him.
For the entire second act Vanko is relegated to sitting behind a lab table, as as fun as Sam Rockwell's Justin Hammer is, I never felt like he offered any threat to the heroes, more comic relief than arch-enemy.
But, don't get me wrong, there's plenty of good to come from Iron Man 2. And if you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one as well. And I got all this from watching it out of sequence you ask. The answer, yes, as all the bits I saw, despite being as good as the first one, did not add up to the greater film. I felt underwhelmed by the end, failing to live up to what had come before. So is it better than Iron Man, No. Does it at least live up to it, Yes it does.

And thats how I stand.

Iron Man 2: 74%

Tummy Tickler: 8/10. RDJ in great form, and Sam Rockwell showing off his comedy chops.
The Boom Factor: 7/10. Monaco scene is quality, Finale feels too short and similar to the Original
Love is in the Air: 4/10. Little Love, but lots of Chemistry between RDJ and Paltrow.
Spill the Popcorn Terror: 2/10. Something about Mickey Rourke is a little scary.

Final Words: Its good, but not great. It had the potential, but reached its high points too early.

Rating: 12a
Running Time: 124 mins
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